Did he know?
When he was in the garden, on his hands and knees, his forehead against the cool dirt, and tears ran down his face, and sweat oozed like blood from his pores, did he know?
I’m not sure what the answer is. I don’t know what Church doctrine says. I can’t know fur sure, I suppose. None of us can.
I know what I believe. I believe Jesus himself wasn’t sure. That was his humanity. And yet he accepted the cup, his prayer fortified his resolve, and he entered into his Passion.
Hours later he would be tortured, ridiculed, mocked, scorned, and finally nailed to a cross, hung naked to die, for all to see.
How do we cope with it? How did Jesus cope with it?
By one account, as Jesus hung there, he cried out, “Father, why have you forsaken me?”
Even near the end, he might have been unsure.
I — we! — as believers, we can only hope that what fortified him earlier that day in the garden, that it also helped him in his final hours, hanging on a tree, waiting to die.
FAITH. Of the many things we can learn from Jesus (Christian or otherwise, really), one of the most powerful lessons he offers is his faith.
How do we deal with uncertainty? FAITH.
How many times in the familiar stories we read about Jesus does the account convey, “he went off to pray…”, “he spent the night in prayer…”, “…he prayed together with his friends (disciples), etc.
I’d say that lesson applies to a lot of things in life. Pause, reflect / pray, have faith.
Severe illness, life-threatening heart condition, struggling marriage, children having difficulties in their development, work life getting you down, coping with end-of-life issues with your parents, and on and on and on…? FAITH. Faith helps.
To be clear, I don’t mean that we should casually toss aside taking action; I don’t mean to over-simplify, saying “just have faith” and everything is better.
What I am saying for sure though, is that faith and reflection are a twin elements that are critical to coping and persevering through difficulty. Don’t expect mana from Heaven to come down to feed you if you’re hungry; don’t expect an angel to sweep in and rescue you from your hardship. But there is a way to fortify yourself to press on, to not give up.
Often times in life we are uncertain as to how to proceed. Often times we are faced with difficulties we cannot easily overcome, struggles that continue over time. We don’t know what do to do. We face uncertainty as to how things will play out.
“Give us this day, our daily bread…”
Do have faith. Do pray. You will thus persevere through your uncertainty.
NEVER GIVE UP.